Second Half Surge Sends Middlebury Past Williams in NESCAC Championship

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Middlebury College men’s basketball celebrated its second-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Sunday with an

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Middlebury College men’s basketball coach Jeff Brown didn’t need to share any inspirational words at the break.

Instead, the tenured coach, who displayed his ‘calm demeanor’ in the locker room, told his team what they needed to correct in the second half.

And those corrections were fixed rather quickly as the Panthers overcame a four-point deficit (40-36) by commencing the second session on a 16-0 run, which carried the Blue and White to an 84-62 victory over Williams College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship on Sunday afternoon at Tufts University.

“We just told the guys exactly what we think and we just need to play better,” Brown said of his halftime talk with the Panthers.

“I told them it is really difficult to become champions, but we made it look pretty easy in the second half.”

Brown’s crew indeed made it look easy, especially when Matt St. Amour sank a few long-range three-pointers that helped the Panthers grow a lead the Ephs would not erase.

Not only did St. Amour sink back-to-back treys early in the frame, but added a layup and another triple minutes later to make it 57-43 with 12:39 remaining.

“My teammates kept telling me to be aggressive, play your game and (that) they had faith in me,” St. Amour said of his second half performance.

“They found me at such good sports and I started to get a couple to go.”

Middlebury’s second half run also featured baskets from Nick Tarantino, Adisa Majors, Eric McCord and Jack Daly.

In addition to an impressive second half surge, the Panthers also held the Ephs scoreless for 5:59. Williams would net its first second half basket with 14:01 remaining when Daniel Aronowitz sank one of two freebies.

Aronowitz’s lone free throw did not spark a second half rally – Williams did pull within 12 points (62-50) with 9:32 remaining, but that would be the closest they would get.

Middlebury would push ahead for good with back-to-back layups from Majors and McCord, who combined for 20 points.

“I think the big key was the start of the second half (when) we got multiple stops and that really helped us get some separation,” said Brown.

The Panthers recorded just five steals in the second half, but netted 20 of 36 field goals, including 6 of 17 from beyond the arc. They concluded the contest with 34 points in the paint, 17 second-chance points and 14 points off turnovers.

Sunday’s win erased the memory of an early season setback, which saw Williams outscore Middlebury, 50-28, in the second half en route to an 89-65 win.

Middlebury has not lost since falling to Williams on the road – they will enter the NCAA Tournament on an 11-game winning streak.

Said St. Amour of the Panthers’ 11-game winning streak, “Toughness is the biggest (reason) … we know we didn’t play the way we wanted to after (falling to Williams last month) and we didn’t want it to happen again.

“Every day, whether it is a practice or a game, we just want to come in, work hard and that really is what it is … this group is really close.”

St. Amour concluded the contest with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and one block, while Jake Brown registered 20 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Williams’ Kyle Scadlock recorded a game-high 24 points, while also pulling down 11 rebounds. Aronowitz record 14 points, three caroms, one steal and one block.

The Ephs, who have now fallen to Middlebury twice in the NESCAC Championship, will have to wait and see if they earn an at-large bid to this year’s NCAA Division III Tournament.

The NCAA Division III men’s basketball selection show is scheduled for Monday, February 27 at 12:30 p.m. eastern.

Said Williams Coach Kevin App, “I want it for the guys … this group has done enough to compete in the national tournament, so I hope we get the opportunity.”

 

Friday’s Conference Tournament Scoreboard

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Eastern Connecticut State University advanced to the Little East Conference (LEC) Championship following a semifinal win over UMass Boston on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Eastern Connecticut State University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Here are the results from Friday’s conference tournament action with links to box scores, courtesy D3Hoops.com:

Thomas 71, Castleton 57 (MBB) 

Husson 98, Lyndon State 84 (MBB) 

Keene State 85, UMass Dartmouth 67 (MBB) 

Eastern Connecticut 86, UMass Boston 58 (MBB)

New England Coll. 52, Castleton 48 (WBB)

Husson 87, Colby-Sawyer 49 (WBB) 

Thursday Night Was A CRAZY Night Of MASCAC Semifinal Action

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Raegan Mulherin sank the game-winning trey with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to send Framingham State past MCLA in the MASCAC Semifinals on Thursday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Framingham State Athletics/Frank Poulin)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

If you’re not following the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament, then I suggest you do now!

Last night featured four dramatic games – one being decided in double-overtime (Bridgewater State-Westfield State), two contests saw both teams win their respective game by one point, while Worcester State shocked top-seed Fitchburg State, 71-68.

With four dramatic and exciting semifinals in the books, we now turn our attention to tomorrow’s championships, which promise to be even more exciting.

Yet, before we turn the page officially, let’s revisit all four contests, starting with Framingham State edging MCLA during the final seconds.

Framingham 60, MCLA 59Following a steal by Framingham State’s Monta Connolly, the Rams called timeout with roughly 10 seconds remaining. After their short breather, the Rams, who trailed by two (59-57), needed a layup or jumper in the paint to send the contest to overtime. However, the Black and Gold did not want to advance to an extra session – they wanted to secure the win. And that they did as Raegan Mulherin sank the game-winning triple with two seconds remaining, which sent the Athletic and Recreation Center into celebration city.

Westfield State 97, Bridgewater State 95 (2OT)A late layup in the second overtime by Bridgewater State’s Sara DaSilva brought the visitors within two-points (97-95) with 40 seconds remaining. 33 seconds later, it appeared Westfield State had secured the win, but a missed layup allowed the Bears an opportunity to tie the game or score the game-winning trey. Unfortunately, the Red and White missed two field goals – a triple and layup – before Susan Bell snatched the game’s final carom, which secured the Owls a spot in Saturday’s title round. Westfield State’s Jill Valley paced all scorers with 39 points.

Worcester State 71, Fitchburg State 68Since falling to Westfield State – their last regular season contest – something has clicked for Dave Lindberg‘s crew. The Lancers, who will be competing in their first MASCAC championship since 2006 (that season, they fell to Salem State in the title round) knocked-off top-seed Fitchburg State last night, thanks to monstrous performance from Paul Brooks, who recorded a double-double of 19 points and 18 rebounds. Jeremy Bacon also recorded a double-double, finishing the contest with 11 points and 11 caroms. Ryan Dibernardo and Aaron Anniballi combined for three free throws down the stretch, which secured the exciting win for the Lancers.

Salem State 69, Bridgewater State 68: Sean Bryan netted the biggest trifecta of the season with six seconds remaining to lift second-seed Salem State past Bridgewater State by one-point. Bryan’s three-pointer capped an amazing second half, which saw the Vikings net 42 points in 20 minutes. Salem State trailed Bridgewater State, 30-27, at the break. The trifecta in the final seconds was Bryan’s lone basket of the contest. Marcus Faison led the Vikings with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Bridgewater State’s Fawaz Mass led all scorers with 22 points.

To watch Bryan’s game-winning trey – HOP HERE

Thursday’s Conference Tournament Scoreboard

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Worcester State scored an exciting win on Thursday, defeating top-seed Fitchburg State in the MASCAC Semifinals. (PHOTO CREDIT: Worcester State Athletics/Matt Wright)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Another busy evening of conference tournament basketball is in the books, and below are the results (with links to their box score, courtesy D3Hoops.com).

Albertus Magnus 108, Mount Ida 68 (MBB) 

Lasell 68, Johnson & Wales 61 (MBB) 

Worcester State 71, Fitchburg State 68 (MBB) 

Salem State 69, Bridgewater State 68 (MBB) 

Southern Vermont 82, Wheelock 71 (MBB) 

Becker 64, Lesley 62 (MBB) 

Endicott 84, Eastern Nazarene 66 (MBB) 

Nichols 83, Wentworth 74 (MBB) 

Saint Joseph’s (Maine) 91, Johnson & Wales 90 (2OT) (WBB) 

Emmanuel 74, Norwich 67 (WBB) 

Elms 63, Becker 61 (WBB) 

Regis 66, Wheelock 45 (WBB)

Framingham State 60, MCLA 59 (WBB)

Westfield State 97, Bridgewater State 95 (2OT) (WBB)  

Univ. of New England 75, Eastern Nazarene 59 (WBB) 

Western New England 44, Roger Williams (WBB) 

Social Media Reactions From Springfield’s Overtime Comeback

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Springfield College’s overtime win last night resulted in some excitement on social media, specificlally

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

A few months ago, social media – well, Twitter to be exact – went bonkers over Springfield taking down Amherst College prior to winter break.

Yes, that was a HUGE win – however, last night was another epic victory for the Pride as they rallied back to defeat Wheaton College in overtime to advance to this weekend’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinal.

With the win, the Pride will face top-seed Babson College with tip-off scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Following last night’s dramatic and crazy victory over the Lyons, Springfield fans shared their excitement on Twitter, and below are some of our favorite posts!

Wednesday’s Conference Tournament Scoreboard

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Aretha Sullivan and Clark University stunned Springfield College on Wednesday evening in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Quarterfinals. (PHOTO CREDIT: Clark University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Here are the results from Wednesday’s conference tournament:

Clark 64, Springfield 54 (WBB) 

Smith 77, MIT 70 (WBB) 

WPI 68, Coast Guard Acad. 38 (WBB) 

Springfield 85, Wheaton 82 (OT) (MBB) 

 

Three-Point Heroics Lifts Lesley Past Regis in NECC Quarterfinals

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Lesley’s Devon Mayo sank the game-winning trey on Tuesday evening, which lifted the Lynx past Regis in the NECC Quarterfinals. (PHOTO CREDIT: Lesley University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

By now you probably know that the Lesley University men’s basketball team will be competing in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) semifinals on Thursday – the Lynx are scheduled to visit Becker College with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Yet, how did the Lynx advance to their first conference semifinal in six years?

Simple: a game-winning trey from Devon Mayo with three seconds remaining, which lifted the Lynx past Regis College, 69-68.

Courtesy of Michael Crotty (@CoachCrotty), here is the game-winning basket from last night’s NECC quarterfinals, which was seen on Twitter:

Mayo concluded the contest with 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

Following the contest, the Lynx men’s basketball team shared the game-winning basket on Twitter, which fans can also see on the Lesley Athletics website: